The Taming of the Shrew Characters

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Katherina is established as a "shrew"-a loud, unmanageable, bad-tempered woman-by her own behavior and by the comments of other characters, who repeatedly characterize her as ill-tempered and unreasonable. Unlike the stock character of the shrew found in many plays from Shakespeare's time, however, Katherina emerges as a complex individual who engages the audience's sympathy and concern. Baptista's obvious preference for her sister, Bianca, his crassly materialistic approach to his daughters' marriages, and the shallowness and rudeness of the Paduan suitors suggest possible reasons for Katherina's shrewish behavior. Her "shrewish" remarks are generally also clever and to the point, suggesting that she is more intelligent than most of the other characters in the play. Moreover, despite her shrewishness she is capable of concern for others, repeatedly trying to shield the servants from Petruchio's violent displeasure.

Katherina first appears in Act I, scene i, where she vigorously protests...

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This section contains 1,024 words
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The Taming of the Shrew from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.